This past fall, the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) announced its “Class of 2019,” honoring six individuals who made contributions to both the advancement of flight and manned exploration of space. The enshrinees were selected from a group of previously-nominated air and space pioneers by the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of more than 120 aviation professionals nationwide. The enshrinement ceremony will be held on September 28th, 2019 at the Wings Over the Rockies aviation museum in Denver. The class of 2019 includes:
Colonel Guion “Guy” S. Bluford, USAF (Ret)
Bluford is a Ph.D. aerospace engineer, fighter pilot, decorated Vietnam veteran, instructor pilot, and former NASA astronaut. He joined NASA in the late 1970s and became the first African-American to travel into space while serving as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Bluford completed four space shuttle missions in total.
(The late) Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, USMC
Boyington was a Marine Corps aviation cadet, officer, and flight instructor for several years before he was recruited to serve as a flight leader with the American Volunteer Group (AVG), or the “Flying Tigers” in Burma in 1941. In 1942, Boyington rejoined the Marine Corps, where he became Commanding Officer of the “Black Sheep” squadron. He was captured by a Japanese submarine crew in 1944 and held as a prisoner of war for over a year. By the end of the war, Boyington had 24 aerial victories and received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross upon returning to the United States.
Brigadier General Charles M. Duke, Jr., USAF (Ret)
Duke is a United States Naval Academy graduate, retired Air Force Reserve Brigadier General, former astronaut and test pilot with more than 4,000 hours of flying time. He was one of the 19 astronauts selected in 1966 for NASA Group 5. He served as part of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 10 flight, capsule communicator for Apollo 11, a backup lunar module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, and as the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. On the Apollo 16 mission, Duke became the 10th and youngest person to walk on the moon.
Mrs. and Mr. Martha & John King
Martha and John King are 40-year veterans of aviation instruction who revolutionized the flight training industry with their multimedia training programs. They are co-chairmen and co-owners of King Schools, Inc., which has delivered countless video instruction courses and helped make aviation education more accessible to pilots around the world. In 1994, the Kings became the first and only couple to hold every category and class of FAA rating on their pilot and instructor certificates. They frequently work with FAA’s National Aviation Safety Program to produce aviation safety videos and serve as contributing editors for Flying magazine. It’s estimated that the Kings’ multimedia training programs have instructed more than half of the pilots flying in the United States today.
(The late) Ms. Katherine Stinson
Katherine Stinson was the 4th female in the United States to earn a pilot’s certificate. She was an aviation pioneer, record-setting stunt pilot, and flight instructor. She helped form the Stinson School of Flying, which trained World War I military pilots. She is credited as the first female skywriter, the first woman to fly over London, the first woman to fly at night, and the first female to carry air mail. As an exhibition circuit pilot, Stinson also set multiple distance and endurance records.
Located in Dayton, Ohio, the National Aviation Hall of Fame was founded in 1962 with the purpose to preserve and memorialize the achievements of America’s aerospace pioneers. Since its founding, over 200 men and women have been enshrined into the organization. Visit their website to learn more.